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Your Afternoon Digest: April 2, 2024

Adler Planetarium will give out glasses the day of the eclipse while supplies last.

Credit: Adler Planetarium

Greetings, Block Clubbers!

I hope you didn’t get caught outside sans umbrella for these fierce downpours. Even if you had an umbrella like me, it wasn’t very useful in the wind. Fun times.

A partial solar eclipse will be visible in Chicago next week! It’s a rare occasion that won’t happen again for another 20 years. So here’s a guide to safely enjoy the event. (Don’t look directly at the sun! Seriously).

What is a solar eclipse? A solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s orbit places it between the sun and Earth and blocks the view of the sun totally or partially. How much of an eclipse you can see depends not only on where you’re at in relation to the eclipse’s path but also on the weather conditions, said Michelle Nichols, director of Public Observing at Adler Planetarium. Read more here.

When is the eclipse and what time can we see it in Chicago? Monday is the big day. In Chicago, the partial eclipse will be visible 12:51-3:22 p.m., with about 94-95 percent totality, Nichols said. The maximum eclipse probably will hit around 2:07 p.m., NBC Chicago reports. So you know when to take a β€œlate lunch.”

Can we see it if the skies aren’t clear? Yes, but it might look a little different, NBC Chicago reports. If it’s rainy or really cloudy, you’ll probably see the sky get a little darker for a while before it goes back to normal, meteorologist Alicia Roman said. But if it’s partly cloudy, we should probably still see it!

Got any safety tips for viewing the eclipse? Worth saying it again: DO NOT look directly at the sun. The ultraviolet rays are particularly destructive to the cells that reside on the surface and back of the eye and can cause damage to the retina, including blindness. They also emit infrared radiation which can cause thermal damage in the form of inflammation, tissue damage and discomfort.

Where can I get glasses to check it out? Regular sunglasses won’t cut it here. Your best bet is suppliers deemed "safe" by the American Astronomical Society, according to NBC. Major chains like Walmart, Lowe’s, 7 Eleven and Staples have them, according to the list. Warby Parker stores also have free, ISO-certified glasses in their stores until supplies last.

Adler Planetarium also will give out glasses the day of the eclipse while supplies last, according to the Sun-Times. Just watch out for any fakes.

Can I reuse my lunar eclipse glasses from 2022? Yes, as long as they’re not scratched, folded, torn or punctured of any kind, Nichols said. You can also construct a pinhole projector.

Are there any eclipse events? Yes! From Pullman National Park to a local library, several places are hosting viewing parties. Find one near you here. Did we miss any? Hit β€œreply” to let us know!

Wanna get outside of the city to see a full eclipse?WTTW has some tips from Nichols of Adler Planetarium about how to find spots within the zone of a full eclipse.

Thanks for reading,

Dawn Rhodes

Senior Editor

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